If you’ve been following my posts, THANK YOU! You will also know that I’ve been talking about my new life after I moved to America from China almost 8 years ago. In yesterday’s post, we finally got some fresh paint in my bedroom. Other than the color being a bit more feminine than I and especially my future husband expected, the walls looked pretty good. A fresh coat of paint is probably the best investment you can make to update any room. We painted the ceiling a soft clean white and the walls a pastel purple going towards pink on the color palette. So everything looked nice and new until I looked beneath my feet. Our house had the ugliest carpeting I had ever seen. Maybe it was nice 40 or 50 years ago but those days were long over. So our next job was to pull up the old carpeting and see what was underneath it. This quickly became another job that turned out to be much bigger than I expected it would. My fiancé had told me that it was quite common for home improvement projects to become more complicated than you thought when you were planning, but I didn’t have much experience in this. I like to plan my schedule down to the minute so this kind of uncertainty drove me a bit crazy!
Anyway we started ripping up the old ugly carpet and found another mess. It seemed that what had once been some sort of foam pad for the carpet had over the years turned into what looked like dusty blue dirt. That was the next cleaning job and then finally we saw the bare floor. In houses this old it was very common to have all hard wood flooring and our 100 year old house had them in every room. One of the things my future husband and I could not agree on was wood. He liked the look of it and I didn’t. I think in China I had gotten used to the idea that wood meant old fashioned and everything modern had to be made of metal or plastic and be shiny. So I had no problem with painting over the wood trim and doors in our house. My husband had a different opinion so we put it to a vote. It was a 1 to 1 tie so of course that meant that I won! But my husband wasn’t going to give up when it came to the floors. I thought it would be nice to get new carpet put in but he said that he’d owned this house for a long time and had never seen the wood floors. He really liked them and refused to cover them back up. Since I had already painted our bedroom a nice feminine color and painted all over the other wood trim I decided I could probably live with the floors as long as we put several rugs around to walk on. In fact, over the years, I have come around to seeing the beauty in wood and am pretty happy we didn’t cover the floors back up.
Now the only thing left to do in that room was finish the closet. One thing I really liked about our old house was the natural light. We had a lot of windows and on a nice day, the bright sunshine would come in everywhere and really light up our house. There were even small windows that faced the morning sun in the bedroom closets. These were pretty big and you could walk into them to get your clothes. The way they were set up was not good for the kind of wardrobe I had planned, so I gave my future husband the job of making them more useful. When I lived in my apartment in Shanghai I had gotten a lot of furniture and accessories from Ikea. They have a lot of great items and ideas to make the most out of small rooms. There aren’t many Ikea stores in America but luckily there was one in the Detroit area so that’s where we started. My fiancé is an engineer and is pretty good with planning out what can fit where. Ikea has a lot of closet organizing items and he figured out how to get me a great closet for our room. I even let him keep a few clothes there too! So, our bedroom was in pretty good shape now. Except we still needed a bed, and dresser, and lots of other things! Please come back tomorrow to see how that came out!
I moved to America almost 8 years ago now. I was engaged to my future husband and came on a Fiancée visa. That meant that once I came into the country we had only a few months to get married. If you’ve been reading my posts this last week you know that what was now going to be my house had a few things that needed to be done before I could call it my home. Well maybe more than a few! The first job was clearing out the junk my future husband was holding onto “just in case” he needed it! This was a bad habit of his that he’s gotten a LOT better with; but it took a long time to get there. Anyway, we cleaned house and made room to see exactly how much work we were in for. The house had 2 floors with the bigger bedrooms upstairs. Also the bigger and much better bathroom was up there. So it was clear that I wanted to be up there too. I really hoped to be in this room to begin our married life. So that meant we had to get busy!
The whole house would need cleaning and fresh paint but we couldn’t paint until we got the old wallpaper off. And I mean OLD! This house was built about 100 years ago and who knows when someone decided to put this paper up? And to make it even worse, it seemed that later on, someone added another layer of paper over the original one! So that meant that for us to paint, we first would have to get rid of wallpaper over wallpaper before we could even see the walls! This was almost 8 years ago and my arms are still sore! They have all kinds of special liquids and tools to help take off wallpaper. But just how easy it is depends a lot on how well the people put it on in the first place. I think it’s safe to say that whoever decorated our room was not an expert wallpaper hanger! So the main tool we had to use was our muscles. We would scrape and tear as much as we could get, then put on some of the smelly liquid and scrape and tear some more. I worked at it during the day while my future husband went to his office and then, when he came home, I would hand him the scraper! It wasn’t a very big room, but it sure seemed big when we were working on it! After about 2 weeks of this we finally got to see what kind of shape the walls were in.
It seemed that the people who had lived in my home before, liked to poke holes in the wall and then cover them up again with the wallpaper. So our next job was to fill these all in and wait for them to dry so we could fill in a bit more. I have to admit that if there’s one thing that drives me totally crazy, it is waiting! I just like to get things done and when my fiancé told me we still couldn’t paint that day I was NOT happy! I had never had a home of my own and didn’t really know a lot about all the rules for this and that but my guy seemed pretty sure. So since we couldn’t do much, it was time to go buy paint. You know how that goes, you drive to the home improvement store and look at little cards with even smaller squares of color and have to imagine what that will look like on all four walls of your bedroom. This would be our room so I didn’t want it to be too girly. But I wanted a nice soft happy color, so we found a light pastel purple that I thought would be just right and not too feminine. The next day we were ready to get started. We taped around the doors and windows and floor and got our brushes and rollers. I was so happy to finally see my new room! We rolled on one coat of paint. Hmmm, maybe it needed another coat to get the right color. On went the second coat. No. My light purple was definitely on the pink girlie side after all! Oh well, my future husband would be getting used to a lot of changes anyway, so what was one more! Coming up next, I wonder what’s under there!